TALES FROM HISTORY
An Unexpected Guest Bows Before the Japanese Emperor
The White Elephant of the Fourth Imperial Rank
In the Edo era (1603–1867), Japan was closed to contact with the outside world except through a few, highly controlled ports. Perhaps due to that relative isolation, curiosity about things foreign grew to such a degree that the 8th shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, made an unusual request.
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